Sunday 2 November 2008

The Eternal Quest for Ms Right

Having finally found someone that I actually do find that I love- all the time, as opposed to at select moments- I suddenly find myself in a far better position to understand my entire history of relationships with the opposite sex.

Haydee is very practical person and the conversations we've had over the last couple of days have kind of enabled me to take stock of just why it is she hits a certain spot. Just what it is about her that makes her tick all those right boxes.
Indeed, Haydee in her ever practical way has pointed out that now I know exactly what I'm looking for, I can stop looking in the wrong places.

The main problem seems to be that over the years I've often regarded something as love, when of course it isn't. Or it is. Just not what most people regard as love. And the motivating factor behind that, of just what it generally was drove most of my past relationships, or kept me in them, wasn't something I entirely understood. I grasped bits of it, but not the entirety of it.

You see, when it actually boils down to it, I'm looking for two things. Two things that combine so rarely in one person, it's that fact which explains why my personal search for Ms Right is such a hard one.

A lot of women can make me feel a certain feeling of love for certain moments. As in, love towards them. But quite what it was that defined those moments I felt love for them, why it was I didn't love them the rest of the time, why I so rapidly fell out of love of with them and what the missing factor was that meant that that feeling of love for them at those moments wasn't True Love, I never really got.

But I guess the simplest place to start, is with the women I by and large actually sleep with. The ones I sleep with without it ever becoming serious. Now, I don't just sleep with them because I want sex, I actually sleep with them because I want their company. There generally is something about their company and their intimacy I find rewarding. Indeed, I'll often spend time with them as well in a casual setting.

I asked Haydee what sort of women she thought this category generally consisted of. She said 'Barmaids from dingy pubs, from what I gather'.
I replied 'Some. You're on the right lines. Dingy pubs is where they tend to be acquired, but I think if you went through the stats, supermarket check out girl or shop assistant would actually be the top jobs. The odd receptionist or two, that sort of thing.'

Why? They tend to be the kind of girls make me feel good. Because there tend to be so many moments when they're just- sweet.
It's those moments when you're trying to explain something to them and they say 'Who's Michael Portillo?' and you just smile and stroke their cheek. And when you tell them about the job you do and the things you've seen and done and they listen, rapt, not really understanding, but fascinated.
And if you bring one with you to a party, they hang onto your arm, they fret if you leave them alone but they still wait patiently and won't come and intervene in whatever you're doing. Because they look up to you, they admire you, you bring them to a world they don't belong in. And they just want to soak that up while they can. It's not you they want, it's the world you inhabit.

Now that particular aspect of it, isn't in fact something I altogether think is good. It plays up to my vanity and ultimately such women aren't good for me long term. They'll only ever get hurt. But there is something very important there, something underlying it all, a powerful instinct within me they appeal to. The sense that they are vulnerable and need protecting.

That's what attracts me to them.

Now moving onto my more serious relationships, we observe something different. Generally, these have been with women who, if you want to be superficial, are 'more my type'. They were, if you want to judge on the superficial basis of the fact that they tend to earn similar incomes, and sometimes more. Usually, though not always, university educated. Nearly always considered quite physically attractive. I'm sorry to say that certainly in the past, looking good on my arm was a prime consideration. Not just did I think they looked good, but did others.

But interestingly, they all had certain points in common. Something that my antennae must have spotted. At the time I didn't really quite know what it was. But the fact that they all had so many facts about them in common, says it all. That ultimately it was the signs given off that are only given off by women about whom those facts are true, that actually inspired me to enter relationships with them.

That underneath the apparently independent, professional, confident facade of the career woman, lay a vulnerable woman needing protection.

I suppose the best way of demonstrating this, is my relationship with Claire. I was with her a long time. And though as readers know, it ended awfully and we went through some awful times, there were times we really did hate eachother, there were times too when I think we did love eachother very much. And the reason for that is, there were two dynamics going on. There were two Claires. One I could never love, the other that I loved very much. And she didn't love me when she was the first Claire, she did when she was the second.

The first Claire was the Claire who would ring my in my lunch hour and ask me who I was in the pub with, who'd get annoyed and jealous and suspicious if I was late home from work, the Claire who poured pints over barmaids. The Claire who painted the house yellow without consulting me, the Claire who would rifle through my jacket pockets, the Claire who constantly liked to take ownership of things, the Claire I was perpetually having little domestic power battles with.
The Claire who would scratch my face when in a jealous rage. The Claire who would threaten suicide if I walked out the door.

But there was another Claire. The Claire who would come and plonk herself on the floor in front of the TV and put her thumb in her mouth and than reach her arm out like a child for me to get off the sofa and come down and join her. The Claire who after a hard day would stand like a child, both arms outstretched, the tears in her eyes just wanting a hug. The Claire who talked to me in what was essentially baby language saying 'Joey! What we having for tea, Joey, what we having for tea? Can we have the chicken dippers?'

The Claire who'd look at me enraptured as we walked round places of historical interest as I would talk excitedly of the the Reformation or what I thought a certain painting was of. She admitted, she often didn't really understand, just liked to hear me talk.

The Claire who'd lie in my arms after we'd argued and tell me why. Why she was like she was. Why she couldn't control her temper. The Claire who told me all the terrible things she needed to tell someone and I listened, listened like a priest hearing confession and felt such overwhelming love for her, the wish to keep her safe forever and in those moments I would promise myself that whatever she did, I'd be there for her because she needed me. I loved her then in those moments.

And most of the time things were somewhere between the two. Those transient moments of connection, were enough. Enough, but in the long run not enough. And it wasn't true love. Because though at times I loved her, I didn't all the time and there wasn't that special something. Indeed, paradoxically the existence of that special something is in itself, as I know see incompatible with some of the things I loved about her.

And in many ways, this basic pattern has often repeated itself. I've been drawn to women who have, somewhere in there, something that makes me want to protect them. They have had moments when they've looked on m as a protector and I've returned those sentiments. There have been moments when they've looked at me as Claire used to, mesmerised, and I've loved them then.

But not the rest of the time. Not in those moments when they've got back on their high horses. When they've rung me at work, or presumed to interfere in what I regarded as my business, my pupils have contracted and all sentiment towards them would escape out of my heart like sand blowing out of a sandbox.

Because I didn't really love THEM. Just their need to be protected. The magic ingredient wasn't there.
What they made me feel, was what a dog makes you feel when it comes and nestles on your lap. I loved them when I could pat their heads and stroke their ears, but when they growled I just wanted to say 'Bad dog!'

And to a certain woman who is reading this now, still carrying hate in her heart, yes, in truth, it was the same with you. There were moments I felt strong emotion towards you. When you spoke with amazed wonder in your voice, when that little lost girl came into your voice, when you spoke to me like you needed me, then, and then alone, I loved you. When you allowed the true you to show, the one you cover up, the little girl inside that still distrusts all men. And when you showed me why. In those moments, I don't think you yourself realise that I was older than you, older and more wordly wise, at those moments I was your protector and you needed me. And I whispered words of love to you, because in those moments, and only those moments, they were true.

And in the moments that dynamic didn't exist, I didn't. I'm sorry. It's that simple. The rest of the time you just weren't the sort of person I could feel anything for. You wondered why always took other women's side against you. Because usually, they made me feel more protective towards them.

Have you not ever understood why I eschew my own parents? When they only live fifteen minutes away? My grandmother in fact lives so near I can walk out of this flat and light a cigarette and I'll actually be at the old folks home before I've finished it.

It's not their choice. It's mine. I don't like people around me who want to 'care' for me. I don't like people who have those sentiments towards me. I don't like feeling cared for. I don't like feeling loved in that way. That's the way I love people, but I don't want it back.
THAT'S the reason my Dad always said I should have been a priest. Because basically the type of relationships I prefer with people are ones where I show them care and affection and in return they give me respect. Where they let me in, but I never let them in.

So what actually is the missing ingredient?
What is that special something that would actually create True Love?

Well, here's the thing. In none of the cases described have we actually described that wondrous thing which makes me mesmerised by a woman. That special quality which makes me entranced by a woman, to really WANT her badly, the ingredient which can seize control of my mind body and soul. The thing that a woman actually has to possess to make me GENUINELY attracted to her, not just loving her vulnerability and having my protective needs satisfied.

And the thing is, it's not what you'd expect. Hence the paradox.

And guess what, I've never really had a serious relationship of any kind with a woman who possessed it. Even though it's exactly what Ms Right needs to possess.

Angela had it- Mrs Chimney Sweep's sister, the Keisha Buchanan lookalike.

It was her star quality.

An it's a curious mix. To really genuinely attract me, a woman needs to be flirtatious and predatory in the extreme. And highly intelligent. And a VERY good mindgame player. THAT'S what attracts me in a woman. THAT'S what charges me erotically.

The best way I can explain it is by relating this little story.

It was a party in Manchester. Her name was Christine. I hadn't in fact paid much attention to her, even though she was mixed race and quite pretty, because she was with her fiance. There were a lot of people at this party and somehow we didn't get chatting. Somebody did mention she had once been a callgirl which intrigued me.
Anyway, at some point her man went home and she decided to stay. I'm not sure if they had a row, I don't remember. If I ever asked or if I ever cared.

At some point, around half two, I think, someone suggested playing a game. Guess the animal. As in, you have to pretend to be an animal and whoever guesses correctly gets to do the next one.

Well, I actually didn't really want to do an animal impression, so I figured just saying the stupidest things I could think of was the best policy. Amy is walking along waving her arm in front of her nose, I shout 'Oppossum?'
Mike is scurrying across the floor like a crab, I shout 'Sea Squirt?'

In the end, my refusal to play ball meant that everyone pretended to hear me say 'Monkey' when I know damn well I said 'Nematode Worm', and even when I did my animal impression, it was over-ruled because apparently, extinct animals didn't count. I thought my Allosaurus was quite good.

Anyway, I carried on with my stupidity and answered one of the guesses as 'Black Widow Spider', at which point Christine, who I'd not exchanged a word with at this point, came bouncing over and went 'Do you know what Black Widows do to their males after sex?'

I grinned 'Are you a Black Widow Spider? Please say no...'

Anyway, we began discussing the finer points of Arachnid evolution, which then led us back to the divide between Protostomes and Deuterostomes. At which point I got sidetracked by the appearance of white lines on the dining table, but as soon as I had put my rolled twenty back in my wallet, she was back on me touching my knee. And did she know how to use those eyes.
Never seen a woman like her. She literally held my gaze. The conversation went onto exactly how DNA might have evolved in the first place and we began discussing Hox genes. And all through this my pupils and hers were linked. And neither of us broke stride. Neither of us paused for thought.
Was I aroused? Too damn right.

I'm not quite sure how things progressed, but an hour or so later, it was just me and her sitting round the kitchen table, sharing a joint. By which time we were on to Nietzsche. She knew Nietzsche backwards. And the eye contact thing was still going. And every so often she'd blush and a tinkle would enter her voice, almost a giggle, but not quite. But she never lost her stride and never lost eye contact.

So I thought I'd change the rules.

'Christine, I have to say, I'm fucking impressed by you. Never seen confidence like yours, never. You got it. You're pretty, you're sexy, you're intelligent, you can wrap most men round your little finger, I'm sure. But why don't we be honest about this game?'
She went 'Go on. What game are we playing?'
I wiggled my shoulders and did the look down at the table all coy and then up direct and harsh into the eyes thing 'This game is about impressing. We're both trying to impress. This game is about whose the smartest. You know the way to impress me is by actually being able to out-intellect me. And I know the same is true of you. Why don't we just be honest and admit, the whole point of this game is someone wins when the other fails to impress? And as things stand so far, we're both still impressed.'

She inhaled. 'Wow. Now THAT'S good. You're either bluffing to catch me off guard or you really are that confident. It's a good hand, but it might just be a bluff. You could be merely trying to suggest you have a confidence you don't really have and this is your final hand to try impress me.'

I smiled 'I guess we'll find out'.

And so we carried on our little mind battle of wills.

And it was a real rollercoaster, I tell you. It's rare I get an adrenalin rush like she was giving me. God, she was bright.
Anyway, then we got on to books. And I started to sense I was on home turf here. Because here she lost sight of the rules. She couldn't see that here, all it takes to win is just say 'I win'.

Because she had ample chances. On several occasions I admitted 'Not read that'.

And then it came. LOTR. She smiled 'Still not read it'.

I flung myself back in the chair 'Oh, Christine, Christine. You failed to impress. Not read the Lord of the Rings. Sorry, I can't take you seriously any more'.

She blustered 'I'm going to, I've just not got round to it'.
I shook my head 'Doesn't count. And I can't take you seriously. Not read Lord of the Rings! The greatest masterpiece of all time! Oh, Christine. Such a shame. I was starting to think you really were in a league of your own. But that's such a blot on your copybook!'

Our eyes met and I winked and blew her a kiss. In that moment I was smitten and I so wanted to go to bed with her.

In the end I walked her back to hers. On the way she said 'You know when I said earlier that you might be bluffing? Well, you weren't. And I am impressed. You have confidence. I admire that. You were good.'
I stroked her arm 'You too, Christine, you too. It's been a real privilege sparring with you. Time well spent, it's moments like that make life worth living. I felt my mind soaring through clouds. It's only when we connect with other minds we truly live.'
We stopped by her door. I had to ask 'You have my number. Will I see you again?'
She smiled 'I'm getting married in three weeks'.
I shrugged 'Well, if you change your mind, we'll go for dinner some time.'

She cocked her head 'I'd like that. If things were different.'

I blew her a kiss and turned and walked back, feeling in high spirits.

You say, Christine was all that she showed herself there.
Intelligent, confident, attractive. And in a way, highly predatory. You'd have to be a man who could cope with her both seeking and getting much male attention to deal with her.
She could take most men, chew them up and spit them out.

But was she also vulnerable and did she need protecting?

I had just witnessed the mating ritual of Christine. She had just tested it on me to prove to herself she still could, as no doubt she periodically did and always will. And I guess she'd be surprised I'd passed the test, because she didn't need me too- she had someone already she was about to marry.

Because the truth is, Christine is a highly fragile and vulnerable girl, but one who knows how to protect herself. She would never shout or scream or be strident. She fights her battles with pure feminine guile.

She will chew up and spit out any man. But the man who can conquer her, the man who can outsmart her, retain eye contact with her, not be phased by her, beat her at her own mindgames of will, him she'll make her full protector and trust him absolutely. And oh, she'll still give him the run around. She'll still play mindgames with him, after all she's chosen a man who she has chosen because he's that sort of man himself, a gameplayer like she is. So she'll run him around, because he'll run her around, and if he didn't, she'd still do it just to keep him on his toes.
But she'd always show him her vulnerable side and give that to him for safekeeping. and though the two of them might play games with eachother for life, he'd always her protector be and she would always respect him for it.

Because of that powerful mental connection.

And THAT, THAT is really what I'm looking for in a woman.

THAT is the woman I'm looking for to share my life with.


Anonymous said...

Because they look up to you, they admire you, you bring them to a world they don't belong in. And they just want to soak that up while they can. It's not you they want, it's the world you inhabit.

Interesting post… But pretty much all girls have their vulnerable side, sometimes they like to feel protected. Gotta trust that you will be protected though.

It is good you have a mental template now..

Also, maybe I should tell you. Sometimes when girls get that “I’m listening but don’t understand” look? Sometimes that’s ‘cos they figure they are being fed a line, but don’t feel inclined to call they guy on it so keep the rope coming… to see how well hung he is ^_^

Now, as it happens. I did read Lord of the rings. I thought it had some great ideas, but that maybe it would have been better if old JRR had got a co-writer in to help with the readability. Though I do grant that it was in my teens I read it, thanks to my brother, and that lots of the guys actually talked about it all the time, so you could actually get to have a conversation if you could talk about it…

I’ll allow it could be my tastes may have matured, or at least changed since then. Still I guess the movies might have been more digestible that the book.

We did have fun translating the runes round the edge of the dust cover.

Anonymous said...

I think that you are possibly one of the most narcissistic people I have ever encountered in my life.

I say that in the most polite way possible.

Anonymous said...

I used to do that high pitched baby voice to my husband..he seemed to like it when I acted like that.

Wouldn't do it again though...that's a little too vulnerable and I am past the age of trying to woo men by acting like a needy child.
Maybe it's something all younger women do..till they learn better?

Anonymous said...

well, relationships are founded on shared values. the more values in common, the more likely for the relationship to persist.

keep looking and don`t stop asking the hard questions early on.

and know yourself.

Anonymous said...

uh oh, you put a spider on your blog! You big hacker you!!

I've just written a post about a spider, and been accused (again) of hacking into shelly's blog.

Now you've posted an image of a spider! Have you hacked into my toaster? LOL

Anonymous said...

Moggs- Mainly, yes. Fact is, I'm not that interesting away from that. I'm ok to be around if you want to spend you life in animated conversations about stuff, but not much use at things like putting up shelves or even doing the shopping with.

Most have a vulnerable side, yes, but its what the other side of them is. That's the problem. Quite often the other side isn't what I want.

I would agree there, but in my case it's often I think people like to actually watch me talk. The Othello principle, I guess.

LOTR is the best work of all time. You SO should read it again.

I must admit to being a little obsessive on the subject. I know all the little details, like the names of all five wizrds and the details of the history of Rohan, etc.

I've read it about ten times, I think.

I actually prefer the elvish writing script. I did learn it once, but I've forgotten it now.

La Femme- I am. No denying that.

Claire once said she had to compete with the fact both me and her were in love with the same person- me.

Kate- It works on me. Of course, I do it a lot myself, talking in babyspeak to women.

Usually when I want something.

Usually sex, actually.

Alistair- i do kind of have a rudimentary selection system. Such as, can they not abuse having my phone number (crudely put the 'don't call me, I call you rule), and do they fit in with everything else and do they get on with my mates, that sort of thing.

But deep down, I think an intellectul and mental connection is what it's all about.

Th rest is trivia, really.

Ms S- Yes, I receieved a comment rom her telling me this post was only written to coinicide with yours.

I guess we shouldn;t be too hard. She neds help, but instead is being manipulated by less scrupulous people to satisfy their own agenda.

Not your toaster now, but have you noticed your phone keeps dialling numbers of its own accord?

(cue X files music?

Anonymous said...

intellectual and mental connection? yes, those are major parts of what a woman looks for in a man.

i call it the four corners.

mind, friendship, sex and money.

the more of those areas you satisfy the more she will want you.

we know this also, yet we struggle with the concept and try to deny certain aspects while trying to keep a relationship um, "going".

many of us compartmentalise these four corners and find a friend or a lover or an intellectual partner....or an investor.

the denial of one or more of these corners causes the pain.

i read a book wherein a woman was suggesting to women that they find a man for each corner, and while that may work for a while, each one of those men will feel somehow, that something is missing.....unless they are looking for thier own four women.

but where does that leave us all?

Anonymous said...

Mixed feelings on this one, to be honest. Whilst the romantic in me does like that feeling of being comforted in a strong man's arms... I have found, in the past, that men don't like a strong independent woman. In fact, I found myself pressured to play weak to make The Ex happy... something that still saddens me a great deal to this day.